Our Card Review series now moves on to the Hero Packs, starting with Captain America. His default aspect is Leadership, but each Hero Pack comes with at least one card for every aspect. In this article, Tim and James will rate all of the cards.
We are going to be rating cards between 1-5 using the system below. Our ratings are an overall score taking into account True Solo and Two-Handed/Multiplayer.
This time we are going to be rating the twelve cards from the Captain America Hero Pack. If you’d like to rate the cards yourselves to see if our opinions match up, here’s a link to marveldb for a visual reminder of the cards we are rating.
[Tim] (2/5) Decent stats but fairly expensive, Falcon is a solid 2/5 in my opinion. He’s definitely more useful in true solo games as the threat he can remove with his ability is proportionally higher, but he still has his uses in multiplayer. Leadership is the ally aspect and I expect him to be pushed to the side eventually, but he’s still worth using at the moment.
[James] (3/5) Falcon is a good ally with a solid 2/2/3 stateline and a useful enters play ability. Even if it fails to remove much threat, knowing the top three cards of the encounter deck gives you useful knowledge going into the Villain phase. Falcon’s big drawback is how competitive ally slots have become given Leadership’s numerous options.
[Tim] (4/5) Rubbish stats but a useful ability means that it’s probably worth including Squirrel Girl in most decks that can. Often, the main reason she will be played is because she costs 2 and has the Avengers trait, so is a good target for cards like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. She’s great in minion-heavy scenarios but cannon fodder in others (which is fine).
[James] (4/5) Squirrel Girl is a fantastic ally that pretty much cements Leadership’s absolute domination of Ultron. Her enters play ability can be good in any scenario, especially at removing annoying tough cards, but it shines when used against a group of drones. Her cheap cost also makes her an ideal chump blocker too, and she is rarely a card you’re sad to draw. Not quite a Maria Hill level auto-include but it’s pretty close.
Quick side-note, I’m very curious to see if Disney keep her tagline of “Eats nuts, kicks butts” when it comes to their MCU interpretation of her. Probably not.
[Tim] (2/5) The only things saving Wonder Man from being a 1/5 are his cost and his trait. 3 Attack is nice but having to discard a card to use it means that it’s only going to happen when you desperately need it. With more and more good basic allies being printed as well, Wonder Man will soon slide into obscurity.
[James] (3/5) Wonder Man’s cost alone makes him worthy of consideration as cheap allies are very very good. His forced response holds him back a little, especially now Leadership has access to so many other cheap allies, but it can offer some nice burst damage to close out the game if needed. One of the amusing talking points I used to see in regards to Wonder Man is how Teamwork gets around his forced response, but the only thing it actually gets around is the consequential damage as you’re still discarding a card to benefit from his high attack. Even if you find yourself not needing that 3 ATK though Wonder Man still offers two points of threat removal and a chump block, which is not bad.
[Tim] (2/5) Regardless of being an expensive, win-more card, Avengers Assemble does still have the potential to create some big turns. The stat boost becomes more useful the more players in the game, which is why I’ve rated it a 2/5 rather than 1/5. In my opinion it requires too much setup in smaller player counts to be worth including in a deck.
[James] (2/5) Despite how good it can feel to close out a game with a well timed Avengers Assemble it almost always ends up being a little win more. Going all in on Avengers tribal also necessitates giving up potent allies like Maria Hill and Nick Fury too, which is probably not worth it in the long run. Overall Avengers Assemble is a niche card that can be fun to use, but probably does not make the cut outside of gimmick decks.
[Tim] (3/5) This is a build-around card that can greatly benefit characters whose hero cards are the focus. I used it in a Hulk deck to some success, and it’s definitely a fun card to use. This card will only get better as more cheap allies are printed.
[James] (3/5) Strength in Numbers gives Leadership some potentially fantastic card draw, but by the time you’re set up to make the most of it you probably don’t need it any more. Still a card that is worth considering though depending on the flavour of Leadership that you are playing, and is pretty vital to making Avengers Assemble a more affordable play.
[Tim] (1/5) This card is just way too slow for my liking; it’s probably going to be another three or four rounds before you cash it in. On paper it doesn’t seem bad for one resource, but it’s the deck slots that it occupies that would be going to waste. I considered giving it a higher rating due to Team-Building Exercise allowing you to just drop it into play, but you’d probably rather be playing something that affects the board state even though Quinjet would be ‘free’.
[James] (1/5) Quinjet is a card that I really wanted to work, and I tried it in numerous Captain Marvel lists after it was released. The card is just far too slow though (really should enter play with 1-2 counters already on it), and obviously does not net any resource advantage if used on a cheap ally. As good as it might feel to occasionally pull off putting a 4 cost ally into play for 2 resources, Quinjet is probably best left in the binder.
[Tim] (2/5) Great card if for some reason your deck was purely Avengers, but you’d be missing out on so many great allies that even with the cost reduction that this offers, I don’t think it’s worth it most of the time.
[James] (2/5) Avengers Tower is a solid card if you are trying to make the tribal deck work, and there are currently two aspects that can do that, Aggression and Leadership, so you even have a certain amount of choice when it comes to the flavour of Avengers that you’d like to play. Unfortunately to get the most out of Avengers Tower in either aspect you would have to omit that aspect’s best ally (Brawn and Maria Hill respectively), which is a pretty big price to pay. Although there are ways to mitigate this you are probably just better off running a different economy card.
[Tim] (3/5) You can use this to boost your character’s hit points by one and thin your deck in the process, boost an ally’s hit points to get an extra use out of them (or boost their health to make the most out of Med Team/First Aid, i.e. Black Widow), boost an ally’s health to create a meme build (She-Hulk with 12x Honorary Avenger, i.e. four player game), oh and give someone the Avenger trait I suppose. This is a good filler card like Lockjaw and Assess the Situation. Not sure what to fill up the last few slots in your deck? Maybe Honorary Avenger!
[James] (2/5) My ‘hot takes’ often get me called out, and I expect Honorary Avenger will be the card that accomplishes that in this review. Despite the value in playing it on certain allies to get one more use out of their high stats, setting up an Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battery, or even using it to keep Avengers Tower online, I think its a card that often gets overvalued by the community because of the deck thinning it enables. Seeing your hero cards more often is obviously a good thing, but I would not run cards like Honorary Avenger for that reason alone. Overall just a very niche card but one that can still be situationally useful I guess.
[Tim] (1/5) You’ve all seen that meme where it says “Stop trying to make X happen, it’s not going to happen”? That’s how I feel with Enraged. Some people will suggest trying to use it in conjunction with tough effects (i.e. Doctor Strange), but I think those tough effects would be put to better use blocking attacks for you. I guess this card could be fun to put on the Hulk ally, but he’d probably just bugger off after one attack just to spite you for putting an attachment on him.
[James] (1/5) Enraged feels like a really bad card, and I can’t remember the last time I even saw it included in a list. Effectively paying 2 for an extra 2 points of damage per ally activation, which by itself is already not good value, but you’re also doing an extra point of consequential damage too. I’m not the biggest fan of ally upgrades even when they’re not terrible. If nothing else at least Enraged serves to make Inspired looking amazing in comparison.
[Tim] (2/5) Requires a side scheme to be present but that’s not too much of an ask. Four damage for one resource is nice, so if you’re expecting the scenario to have any side schemes, this will probably be worth including a copy or two. Followed adds some much-needed damage in an aspect that doesn’t deal a lot of damage, and is activated by doing what that aspect does naturally.
[James] (2/5) Followed is a card I liked when it was first released, but it has fallen out of favour somewhat since then. Extra sources of damage is something Justice likes a lot, especially if they trigger off the one thing the aspect can do really well, but it just feels a little too situational to include all the time now. I have started to experiment with it in decks again recently, but more often then not it’s the first card to get cut. Followed is probably worth considering if you’re building for a specific scenario that starts with side schemes in play, or maybe even during multiplayer since you’ll be dealing with more side schemes, but likely will not make the cut if building an “all comers” deck.
[Tim] (1/5) On paper this doesn’t look like a bad card; zero resources for an extra three defence when you’re blocking. However, even before cards like Desperate Defense or Never Back Down existed, you didn’t see this appear in many decks. I think that Protection has better options, so Expert Defense isn’t needed.
[James] (1/5) Probably just my anti-Protection bias showing here but what is even the point of Expert Defence? If you need this much help making the “no damage/defend” deck work then maybe just switch to a hero that can hit a higher defence total without it. The aspect has better sources of damage mitigation, Defensive Stance and Energy Barrier for example, and Desperate Defence goes better with the defend archetype. I feel Expert Defense should simply be left in the binder, but if there’s a situation where it is useful I would love to hear about it.
[Tim] (1/5) A while ago I used to use this cycle of resource generators, but I’ve since stopped using them altogether. Even in decks that favour a specific resource type you’d be better off just including more cards (that are actually useful) that have that resource on them. Quincarrier is the easy option for Avengers characters (and you could even use Honorary Avenger to make your character an Avenger, but that might be a bit too far off course). I just can’t see a use for this unless a scenario gets printed that really, really, needs you to use mental resources.
EDIT – As reddit user WhitePalico correctly points out, you CANNOT use Honorary Avenger to make your character an Avenger in order to use Quincarrier, as you must be an Avenger to make someone else an Honorary Avenger. Read the card, Tim!
[James] (3/5) Enhanced Awareness can be good in the right deck as it enables you to convert none-mental resources into mental if you need them without compromising the resource composition of your deck, which can be important when it comes to dealing with problematic attachments. It can also be used to set up bigger turns later in the game. Regardless of the intended use it’s important to note that these “resource generators” do not actually generate any resource advantage as you’re simply spending three now for an extra one over three turns later. Mental remains one of the least useful of the three currently, but it still has a place.
|2nd||Strength in Numbers||3|
Lots of low ratings this time. If it wasn’t for the fact that Captain America is so good, this pack would nearly be skippable! What did you think to our ratings, fair or too harsh?
Tim & James